tv CNN Newsroom CNN February 18, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
>> the lord and savior. this is not a sad time, but a glad time. i don't have to say much, because everyone that has spoken, they've hit it, as we now say south on the head. but i would say that we had some good times. she accepted me as a brother, although i was her bodyguard for almost 11 years. i remember with "sparkle" everyone that left, and i wanted to go home bad. and she said, ray -- when she say ray, she called me uncle ray, that's her playful time but when she means business, she
would say ray. i'm tired. i've done everything i'm supposed to do. i just want to hang back a little bit and just rest. i said, okay. all right. but the thing about it is when we got ready to leave, she says, i don't believe i want to fly. i said, well, how are we going to get there? she says, we're going to drive. i said, well, we're going to drive? not we. i said, you don't drive. she said i'm going to help you drive. i said, i'm not going to trust you to drive me. so, she said, we can do it. i said, okay. she said trust in the lord. we can do it. my room, right across from hers, i go in immediately -- i am a
christian. i start praying. i said, lord -- [ laughter ] -- this is precious cargo. and i -- you know, i don't want nothing to happen. and i could feel his presence. i got you. so we get ready to leave. i guess she started thinking about it now. she said i'm going to be ready in about 20 minutes. 20 minutes come by. ray, you ready? i said, i'm ready. let's hit it. she said, give me about another hour. night begin to come over. finally, she called me. she said i'll be ready. i said i tell you what. when you are ready, you call me and i'll be ready. she said you'll be ready to do it? i said i'll be ready. she called me when she was ready. we loaded the truck up and here we go. i was afraid of stopping at service stations. i was afraid of flat tires, because i have an icon with me.
i have someone that the people love and i said, i can't -- i've got to make it. i drove all night. i stopped twice. i asked her, i said don't get out of the car. when i would go in the store -- when i went in the store to pay for the gas, i'm looking out the window and looking back and i could see her, had the window about like this and she was peeping up. and i said, i told you don't roll it -- she said, no, i had to see what was going on with you. i had to make sure you were all right. but we made it in. i tell you, in our final days, she came into my room and that was something she would never do. she came in my room and she begin to spebikelicabikelically. she started talking about ma matthews and would lay her head on my shoulder and say we're going to be all right.
she gave me activities for the day, what we were going to do. when i left to go do a vh-1 walk through, she had fred hammond, who she would listen to before she would go on stage. she was rockin. i go do a walk through, come back. music was off. so i pulled my key out and i said go into the room. i said, no, she -- i walk in that room right now, open that door, she's going to get me. so, i'm going in mine. things happen. and i realized that she had left. seemed like my whole world just -- i had lost a friend, a boss, a sister. but then her spirit came to me and said you are free, because
in those 11 years, i was by her side through the thick, through the thin, whatever. i was there for her. and she had a bible. she didn't know it, but i called that bible raggedy because it was so torn up that in those -- she knows what i'm talking about. that bible. she would take -- she had to have the bible everywhere she went. if she didn't get that bible, she would make you take some clothes out, make sure she stuff it in there. big, thick. you open it up, it had passages marked all over it. she was a lovely lady, beautiful lady. she was a caring lady. she knew all my grandchildren, my family, how did she do -- but none other like her. but i say this. god gave us an angel.
gave it to miss hughouston and shared it with the world. her voice was so beautiful. we sang so much together. but we got to give a little back to all our entertainers. we got to treat them with dignity and treat them with love and stop ridiculing them. [ applause ] thank you. it means so much if we just give them a little love and not just buy a ticket. we buy a ticket, they give their lives to you. they're not with their families. they're in and out, on stage, off stage, on plane, off planes, traveling, buses, just so we can have some entertaining. whether they're on the court or whether they're on the stage, or whether they're on tv, they're giving us entertainment to make
our lives just a little brighter and our nights a little smoother. so, let's give back to them. let's give them love, not just a ticket. this lady right here, she loved you. and i know that. i was with her every day, always. thank you. [ applause ] >> i like hearing words like that. we're going to hear some wonderful words now in the form of a song. mr. stevie wonder.
>> this is such an emotional moment. today and the time that we're living in. i want ed to stop and give all praise to god for just allowing me to be in life at the same time as whitney. and, dionne and cissy, and to all the family, i want you to kn know, as millions of people have said not just in this time but
throughout her career, we loved her so much. and that won't stop. i'm so very happy that we were able to do a song together. we didn't know. because actually in my fantasy world, i actually had a little crush on whitney, okay? but i just had so much respect for her love for music. and when we sang in the studio, we would go back and forth, all that kind of craziness but just our expressing love and appreciation for the gift that god had given us. i understand that this song was one of the songs she liked a lot. and so i said, god, i'm going to be in church and i don't know
meant like you were that voice from heaven's choir ♪ ♪ who can lose with god on my side and no more whitney no more do you have to cry ♪ ♪ you will always be our ribbon in the sky that angel from god's choir that angel from god's choir that angel from god's choir of love ♪ ♪ i want to give praise to the father i want to give praise to the father i want to give praise to the
♪ it's going round breaking many hearts stop it please before it goes too far ♪ ♪ people you know that love's love's in need of love today ♪ ♪ please send yours in right away send yours in right away ♪ ♪ you know that pain's going round pain's going round -- pain's going round you've got to -- i've got to we've got to you've got to
my mother-in-law's door by my cousin, diane. and she looked at me and she said let the believers believe. so, let the believers believe. i had to write something out, because i didn't want to leave anything out, although i know i will. i loved the lord. with those immortal words of praise, my sister, my friend gave the world a glimpse into the power and presence of god that is so present with us at this every moment in our lives. in joy, in sorrow, in despair, even in the midnight death, always there. i have always been so curious and even a bit troubled by a statement that david makes in psalms 116 and 15.
precious in the sight of the lord is death of his saints. until this past saturday when our beloved whitney found her way into the very presence and safety of god, then i understood. when someone dies, we are sad. we are angry. we are stunned. we are often bewildered and we may even feel abandoned. but the more i think of her life, the more i know that she is so safe and so precious in the eyes of god that he carefully considered time for her to come to another level of peace. i am even more comforted by the fact that all of our times are in his hands. today, the world is celebrating the life and times of this magnificent woman of grace, beauty and enormous talent. today, the world is saying good-bye in a way to that incredible soul.
today, we, as a family, celebrate the life of our sister, our daughter, our mother and our friend. there is so much i could say about her, for she was one with a charmed and beautiful life. a life sometimes misunderstood, even by herself. but a life nevertheless that gave joy, happiness, enthusiasm, peace and beautiful music to millions of people across the world. with all that i have been privileged to know about her, to share with her, what i can say for sure is that even when she was tired or a bit lost, she gave and gave and then gave some more. when she did not want to do
things, she did them anyway. and we are so much better for it. it is this very special gift about whitney of giving anyway that i was immediately reminded of a dusty yellowing wall hanging that hung on the wall of another woman that touched millions across the globe, mother teresa. today as we celebrate and remember this life of destiny, i am able to say without doubt that this is one of the oldest of celebrations that so typifies whitney and the life she lived. it will remind us that she left us and though we will not see her in the flesh, she is ever so present with us. and no matter what we are enduring, we can still take comfort in the fact that while life cannot sometimes always be understood, we can yet give to
others anyway. when people were often unreasonable, irrational and self centered, whitney forgave them anyway. when she was kind, people often accused her of being selfish or having ulterior motives. whitney was kind anyway. when she was successful, she did win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies, yet whitney succeeded anyway. when she was honest and sincere, people often deceived her, yet whitney tried her best to be honest and sincere anyway. what she spent years creating, what others could destroy overnight, whitney created anyway. when she did manage to find serenity and happiness, some
were jealous and envious, yet whitney tried to be happy anyway. the good she did, she knew could be forgotten, but she did good anyway. even when she gave the best she had, it sometimes was not enough and she knew it. but she gave us her best anyway. she knew deep down that in the final analysis, it was always between her and god and it was never between her and the world anyway. today it is my prayer, and that of our family that you will are remember her to the love she gave to everyone, no matter what may be going on anyway. to my mother-in-law, yes, you
did everything you could. the choice was always hers. remember this also, that there are people that jesus could not heal because they did not want his help. so, if god in a body could not do something, then you can feel confident that you are fine. to clive, you were the rock that held her together professionally. your wisdom of the music industry did not go unnoticed. she referred to you as her industry father. she had more respect for you in one hand than she had for anyone else's entire being. you gave her hope. thank you for your excellence, your loving kindness, peace, dedication and, most
importantly, your love for whitney and this family for all these years. she loved you. [ applause ] >> i used to tease her and say if clive is your industry father, then is your industry uncle. we got such a kick out of that. past and present, she never forgot all the things you did for her. the journey was more than incredible. it made history. she loved her craft. to her international fans, you were blessed to have her final tour in 2010. she would dedicate that tour to
you. she gave you her best. with all of the obstacles and struggles, with weight gain and challenges, she finished her tour like a champion, never regretting the moment, sharing her music with you. she would always say any way you fix me, lord, i'll be satisfied. one of her favorite songs was "home, home america" and you are blessed with her last film. when we finally closed the deal with sony pictures in 2011, deborah chase, her producing partner, devon franklin and pastor t.d. jakes decided this film "sparkle" was going to happen. the six weeks of filming
"sparkle" were some of the happiest times of her life. the presence of god was in the midst of this project. in her mind, it was ordained by god. in the history of her filmmaking, this movie inspired her to be devoted and dedicated. what she herself wanted to be as a mother, bobbi kristina, and nicholas, her godson. her work ethics were impeccable. she was on top of her game. and on this day, i'm proud to say that she was a gift of light to many on that set. she put the spark in "sparkle" and, krissy, that was for you. you were that spark. she wanted much for you.
you know how she used to tell you to say your prayers. did you read that scripture? i don't care what was going on with her. i don't care what it was. she stayed grounded in the word mom. you'd be proud. be proud. to her band members, past and present, thank you for never abandoning her. [ applause ] she had nothing but love for you. for all that knew her intimately, our small circle of friends, all of you performing tod today, to tyler, that confident
spirit that stayed with me when i needed you most. every phone call answered. anything that was necessary in the name of jesus. to oprah and diane, i thank you. her lawyer, staff, agents, especially nicole david, business managers, tour managers, travel, security, publicists, past and present, aunt bay and family. oh, aunt bay. to mary, ulysses, lynn, donna, my big brother, ray, billy and,
of course, cousin dionne, who i could call on any time. thank you for always being there. the winans family, i can't say enough. you're a second family. kim burrell, there are no words to describe. diane mclurkin, we were a team. we were a team. she would want me to tell you to clap your hands, y'all. it's all right. cause my love is your love. my last conversation with her
was at the beverly hilton. we were having lunch. she had concerns about information she had heard about her. and i reminded her that in her 20s she gave the world her life with her golden voice. in her 30s and 40s, she gave her life to her husband and her child. and she was approaching her 50s and it was time for her to live for whitney. she said because he lives, i can always face tomorrow. and she had a huge smile on that oh, so beautiful face. to her brothers, gary, michael and johnny and her nieces and nephews, whom she loved very much, a friend sent a note reminding us that our dear sister, aunt, mother, friend in christ has been set free. thank you, lynn dale. free from pain.
free from sorrow. free from crying. free from sin. free from death. we will see her again. until then, she rests peacefully in the lord's presence. for those of you that were unable to view her body, imagine her performance in "the greatest love of all," the way that she lookedment t ed looked. the way that she looked. may god's presence and his word comfort you to the. to the family, friends and extended music family of the uncomparable and unforgettable, my partner and my sister, whitney elizabeth houston. there are no words that can
describe how i feel right now. i didn't think that i could do it. but she's always telling me to stand. you stand. i need you. and today i stand to say that the legacy that she left was music, but what she left for you was her love for god. and she had it and she was absolute. she was absolute about that. and no worries, in her final days she held on to what you taught her to believe in. i promise you, she did. [ applause ]
for me. i took his hand when i heard him call. i turned my back and left it all. i could not stay another day to laugh, to love, to work or play. tasks undone must stay that way. i found at peace at close of day. if my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. the friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss. oh, yes. these things i, too, will miss.
>> ricky? ricky minor. >> 30 years ago, i met this young girl, 18 years old with dreams of singing in the music business. and i was a young 22-year-old hot shot bass player. i was going to show the girl a few things. and we were going to take the world by storm. we were going to figure out this music business, how to get in and how to kind of stay there, make a mark.
it didn't take me long to realize that i love whitney houston. not because she's pretty. i mean, she's pretty. 5'10", cocoa brown skin. that face, that smile, those eyes. but that's not why i love whitney houston. i mean, not because she can sing. the girl sang, all right? i mean, what a voice. not a voice, the voice. hear me now. i love whitney hughouston. could it be the dancing? maybe not. but i love whitney houston. the hairstyles? i mean, come on.
"dance with somebody" the hair. how about the bow in the hair "how will i know"? you know what i mean. i love whitney houston. could it be for the outfits? nobody can wear a gown like whitney houston. can i get an amen in church? nobody can wear a gown like whitney houston. that smile, that face, that smile and grace. i love whitney houston for all those things and so much more. whitney houston changed my life forever. by entrusting me, rickey monroe from louisiana, with her career, with her music career. why? i believe that god sent her to
me. she was my gift and i was hers. and that we would go on to collaborate and work hard together and make music and laugh and cry, and fight. i would bring something, what you got for me, rickey? okay. what you got for me now? what you got? i would bring my ideas that she stayed up and worked on. i would explain to her what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. and she said, as sweetly as she is, i'm not doing that. so, we would go back and forth until we finally got to the point where i said, you're going to do it and you're going to love it. and she said, is that so? and i said, yeah, that's so. she said, okay. and we did it, you know. the memory i want to share is
really the turning point for both of us, which was the national anthem for the super bowl. and she was so excited. i mean, she was so excited to do it. but she had ideas right away. it wasn't going to be what everyone thought. and she came to me and said rickey, did you ever see marvin gay singing the national anthem? did you see that? i mean, he took his time and had a beat on it. so, can we have a beat? i said, you're whitney houston. you can have anything you want. so, we went on to try to figure out how to make this thing special. and, i'll tell you, we didn't know. i mean, we didn't know. but god was leading us along the way. we didn't know what we were doing. we didn't know how to do it. but god said go for it.
go ahead. it just changed my life. and from that moment on, even before then, that first day, i knew that i love whitney houston. on behalf of all the musicians and singers and dancers and actors and stage crew and staff and all of us on behalf of whitney houston, i want to thank john simmons, the first music director, and mike baker, the last music director, for whitney. and i want to leave you with knowing that because of you, whitney, because you were there, i am here. because you were there. may god bless you all. [ applause ] >> we are now going to ask pastor marvin wina